USC Monday offered 2021 WR Rodarius Thomas (6-2 186) of Eufaula, AL becoming the first major program to offer Thomas and immediately becoming a frontrunner for his services. His prior offers were from Coastal Carolina, Austin Peay, Missouri State, North Alabama, South Alabama, Tennessee Tech, Tennessee State and Western Kentucky. This season he has 30 catches for 541 yards and 8 touchdowns. Last season he had 45 catches for 957 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Gamecocks are also looking at receivers for the next class and one at the top of their list is Jaleel Skinner (6-5 205) of Greer. Skinner, who could up at tight end in college, went into his junior season with 30 career catches for 511 yards and 6 touchdowns according to Max Preps stats. He is rated a four-star prospect in the 247Sports Composite and ranked the #3 tight end nationally in his class.
Skinner’s most recent offer was from Duke. USC was his first, and he has also received offers from Arkansas, Auburn, Penn State, Tennessee, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, LSU, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Miami, Appalachian State, Florida and Georgia Tech. Clemson and Ohio State are two other high profile programs he’s hearing from.
“I’m 100 percent open. I’ll give any college a chance,” Skinner said. “I picked up a Duke offer a couple of days ago. I’ve been talking to a couple but I haven’t narrowed anything down. Florida State, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Clemson, Ohio State. I’m talking to them a lot.”
Will Muschamp, tight ends coach Bobby Bentley and defensive coordinator and secondary coach Travaris Robinson are the Gamecock coaches who have been in touch with Skinner, and they’ve done a good job getting a positive relationship built.
“I love South Carolina. I love talking to them guys,” Skinner said. “I love how they are trying to change things back to how it use to be at South Carolina, bring that swagger back down to South Carolina. I truly believe this season and the season to follow they’ll have things back on track. It would be great for me to see them showing progress from last season, showing that they are getting better and they’ve got a lot of good recruits coming in to make the team better.”
Skinner said he has been in touch with the Gamecocks’ five-star 2022 quarterback commitment Gunner Stockton.
Clemson receivers coach Tyler Grisham along with tight ends coach Danny Pearman and safeties coach Mickey Conn have been leading the conversation from the Tigers’ end of things.
“They are always telling me about the culture at Clemson,” Skinner said. “Their standard is the best. That’s the standard at Clemson. They always strive to be the best, they strive for the best and they always want the best for their players.”
Skinner said his plan is to make his commitment next summer going into his senior season and after he takes more visits. He was able to visit USC earlier this year before the pandemic forced the NCAA to impose a dead period that will stretch at least to the end of the year.